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Monday, November 27, 2006

Firefox 2.0 stability on Mac OS X

I've found that Firefox 2.0 is simply not stable on Mac OS X (10.4.8 Intel). It was locking up on my multiple times a day. I downgraded to 1.5 and have had virtually no problems since (in the last couple of weeks).

It seemed like it had trouble with heavy JavaScript pages such as Google Mail. Again, 1.5 is fine.

It really is like being between a rock and a hard place; Safari is faster and more stable but doesn't do everything I want it to do (such as the WebDeveloper or FireBug plugins to Firefox). FireFox is less "OS-X-y" (James Duncan Davidson won't run it because it feels like a Windows program to him ... and it sure could use a few more glowing curvy glass buttons!). Some common JavaScript, such as animation effects from Dojo, run incorrectly in Safari but correctly in FireFox. So, what's next ... Opera?

Nope, probably stay with Firefox (1.5, until they admit there are Mac OS X problems and fix them). It's much more likely that my clients will be running FireFox than Safari or Opera (my clients, and my client's client's are almost universally running Windows). I think a shift has occured, where people understand that Firefox is the standard, and that IE may take some extra effort "to get working correctly". I'm not saying people don't expect things to run flawlessly in IE ... just that they understand that it's not automatic, that IE makes things harder.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Give a try to Opera 9! It's by far the fastest browser and the strongest feature wise. Most of the times I found that by making something work in Opera ensures at 90% that it will run flawlessly in IE and Firefox. Also most websites including Gmail and many MSN websites do support Opera these days.

Henri.

Anonymous said...

Did you have the "Google Toolbar for Firefox" addon installed while you were getting these lockups?

Howard said...

I very well might have; that's something to look into (FireFox 2.0 without Google Toolbar).

Mike said...

I use google sync and webdeveloper only. No special look and feel plugins or anything else that could be considered fluff. Firefox almost never crashes on me. I presume it's an plugin problem or at least being triggered by the presence of a plugin.

torgeir said...

Why don't you try the optimized firefox builds that have OS X style buttons? It will integrate a bit better with ither apps. See http://www.beatnikpad.com/archives/2006/10/26/firefox-20

Jim said...

I had stability problems with FF 2.0 on Mac. I dropped the "Foxy Proxy" plugin and everything seems to be ok now. Moral of story: check your plugins.

mtilchen said...

Have you tried Camino yet? In short, Mozilla in a Cocoa wrapper.

http://www.caminobrowser.org

-MT

C├ędrik said...

Howard,

You may want to try out the Safari nightly builds, which include developer goodies such as Drosera and Web Inspector. Be sure to also activate the debug menu!

Emma Middlebrook said...

I wish Firefox was seen as the standard at my workplace. I converted from IE just under a year ago and since using the plugins I don't think I could ever go back. I'm still running 1.5 because when I checked out version 2.0 not all the extensions that I use work in that version and I didn't want to stop using them.

I'm trying to convince my colleagues that we should be developing against Firefox, we develop a linux appliance but only support IE as the web front-end, what's all that about? :)

Anonymous said...

"I think a shift has occured..." Hope you are not using this assumption as a guide in any of your Tapestry development. To techies, Firefox is relevant. To the rest of the world it is not. Saying it is the standard is the equivalent of saying AMD is the standard and not Intel just because AMD had great market share gains over the last couple years.

Howard said...

No, Tapestry will not be coding directly to FireFox. I'm just restating some of my clients' positions: they get thier application working on FireFox, then provide a CSS/JavaScript "patch" to get it working under IE. Nobody wants to develop full time using IE since the developer support is so poor, but developer support built in to FireFox (via a WebDeveloper and FireBug plugins) is great.

Leveraging libraries such as Dojo is important, since they usually, or at least often, create cross-browser APIs that smooth out the differences.

ciukes said...

No worries Howard, I have similar observations using FF2.0 on Ubuntu 6.10

It seems like QA tests were not done properly;)

Anonymous said...

As for shiny buttons and such in Firefox, try the macfoxIIgraphite theme.

JulesLt said...

Bit late but I'll concur it must be a plug-in as I have no problems with FF on mine, and I have the Web Developer plug-in installed.

As someone said, it's well worth getting the WebKit nightlies to play around with the WebInspector and Drosera. The WebInspector is great for understanding CSS on other peoples sites.

That said, the guys in my team are pretty happy with Microsoft's IE developer toolbar, that offers similar CSS inspection - although 'within' the browser window rather than floating over.